Cape Coral Police Department held its March 2013 Do The Right Thing awards ceremony Wednesday at City Hall. Seven students were recognized.
- Daisy Siriamphone, 10th grade, Mariner High, daughter of Lo Siriamphone & Phaly Sy
Daisy was nominated by the parents of a kindergarten student, Haley. Haley normally takes the bus home from school and her mom meets her at the bus stop, but on one particular day in January, Haley's mom was going to be out of town for business so wrote a note to the school asking that she be sent to the Aftercare Program until her dad could come and get her. Somewhere along the line there was a misunderstanding, and Haley was sent home on the bus to an empty house. Luckily, Daisy lives in the neighborhood. She had never met Haley or her parents but waits at the bus stop near their house to meet her little brother. She saw Haley by herself and realized that something was wrong. When Daisy found that no one was home at Haley's house, she got the planner out of her backpack and notified the school. Daisy then stayed with Haley until her dad was notified and got home. Daisy's mom writes, "this amazing young lady could have ignored the situation, but she took the time to realize that someone was in need of help and immediately acted on it. Her actions show true definition of her great character."
- Kyleigh Marino, 2nd grade, Gulf Elementary, daughter of Heather Parenteau & Michael Marino
Kyleigh's mom tells us that Kyleigh has always been a sweet, considerate and compassionate little girl. She has in the past donated her hair to Locks of Love, given to the Perkins giving tree and Toys for Tots. In previous school years she was the "welcome wagon" for new students as well as the protector of those who were being bullied. This year she is continuing her role as leader and role model. She has always had a passion for cleaning the earth, and a couple months ago began picking up garbage at school which was left on the playground. When her friends asked her what she was doing, she told them she was cleaning the planet. Because she is such a good role model, other children began taking her lead and Kyleigh now has what she calls a "litter pick up club" that cleans up every day during recess. More and more children are joining her club and she told her mom that she is trying to set a good example by telling them how important it is for everyone to help keep the earth clean, because the planet belongs to all of us.
- Kayla McGlade, 8th grade, Challen-ger Middle, daughter of Melissa & Richard McGlade
Since August, Kayla has volunteered as a "Challenger Mentor" in the Functional Skills classroom at Patriot Elementary School. The students in that particular classroom have severe intellectual and physical disabilities. They are in wheelchairs and require assistance to meet their self care needs. Kayla comes in several days a week to work with the students assisting with a variety of activities. She uses hand-over-hand assistance to help them complete an art activity or play with a toy. She reads to the students and makes them smile and laugh. Kayla also helps organize and clean up the activities before she leaves. She treats the students with compassion, respect and dignity and is patient and understanding with each one of them. Their teacher tells us that Kayla has a way of making each student "light up" and feel special. It is not one act of kindness or compassion that makes Kayla so extraordinary. She continually shows commitment to make a difference in the lives of those with disabilities. She is an incredible role model not only for the students in this classroom but for all other students, peers and adults she encounters.
- Eric Barnes, 12th grade, Mariner High, son of Steve & Lisa Barnes
- Christian Rodrigo, 12th grade, Mariner High, son of Brenda & Rafael Rodrigo
On Feb. 21, Eric and Christian had stopped at the 7-Eleven, and as they got out of their car, they saw a man exit the 7-Eleven and get into his vehicle. As the man backed out of his parking space, his vehicle continued in reverse until it struck the gas pumps. When the gentleman didn't move the car right away, Christian and Eric momentarily thought that he was upset with himself for hitting the pumps, however quickly realized that something was very wrong. They ran over to the man and realized that he was not conscious and was not responsive. Thinking quickly, they called 911 to summon help. At that point, another bystander came to assist. The three of them were able to get the man out of the car and begin CPR, and within minutes, a CCPD Police Officer arrived on the scene and took over the CPR and a Lee County Deputy arrived with an AED. They were able to get a heart beat back, but unfortunately the gentleman passed away at the hospital. The quick actions of Christian and Eric ensured that the first responders were on scene quickly and that the man got medical attention.
- Matt Baeza, 9th grade, Ida Baker High, son of Christine Baeza
Matt is being recognized for helping a young lady, Jaelyn, whose iphone was stolen in school. Jaelyn was in algebra class and was using her iPhone as a calculator when she was asked to leave her desk as she had been nominated for an award. When she got up, she left her phone on her desk where it was soon taken. Matt had an idea of who had it and tried tracking the phone while they were in school with no success. After school, Matt continued tracking it and missed his bus in order to stay on top of it. He called his mom to pick him up and they proceeded to follow the phone track to the suspect's address. Matt then called the Cape Coral Police Department who arrived at the scene and questioned the suspect who finally admitted to taking the iphone. Because of Matt's diligence, Jaelyn was able to get her property back before it was sold or disposed of.
- Mark Moreno, 5th grade, Patriot Elementary, son of Jessica Moreno
Mark learned of a student in Kindergarten, Gavin, who was having a hard time and volunteered to be a "mentor" to him. Not only does he go at the end of every day to help this student with reading, social skills and any make-up work, but he often forgoes his own enjoyable activities at the end of the day in order to support Gavin. They finish any work that Gavin hasn't completed, then pack up and sometimes play a memory game together. Gavin's teacher states that his confidence has been boosted so much since he's been hanging out with Mark. The attention has caused his Kindergarten classmates to have taken a better liking and more interest in Gavin.
What's truly remarkable about Mark is that he never complains or acts selfishly. He gives of his time and energy with true commitment and cares only for the good he is doing for others. No matter what is going on in his own classroom; a celebration, an experiment, extra time for a fun project, he feels that helping Gavin is more important and he never lets him down. He also completes all of his work, staying on top of his own academic excellence, and is a safety patrol in the morning for the school. Mark's actions will have a permanent effect on the life of one young man.